Avoid

Day 16 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “avoid.”

Avoid=“keep away from or stop oneself from doing (something).”

There are things, people, and places we sometimes avoid in the world. Yet God calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I’m reminded how the night before his crucifixion and death, he prayed to the disciples “that they all shall be one” knowing full well that Judas was about to betray him and Peter was about to deny him.


Yet there are people some must avoid. I think of my friends who have been in abusive relationships. The best thing they can do for their health is to avoid or stay away from their former relationship especially when that person hurt them.

I try not to avoid people. But sometimes when I’ve been hurt, it’s hard to not avoid others. I’m trying to be the better person. I need to treat all as the child of God, God created them to be! But that doesn’t always mean that I shouldn’t avoid them.

Opening a Book

Day 15 of Write 31 Days! Today’s word prompt is “open.”

Open the door.

Open your mind.

Open the window. Let in some fresh air.

Open a gift.

Open a book!

Opening a book is one of my favorite things to open. I turn the pages and get carried into the story. Each character becomes attached to my heart as I read the story. What will happen? Will the story end like I expect it? Or will the ending surprise me like it did when I read Where the Crawdads Sing?”

Opening a book also has led me to be a better writer. I want my readers to feel the emotions I write. I want them to be carried along with me in my story. In order to write my story though, I must open my blog dashboard or open my journal to write the words down.

What else has opening a book done for you? Favorite kinds of books to open? One of my absolute laugh out loud while also tears streaming down my face books was written by Alison Arngrim who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Praire. It’s called “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch.”

What book are you opening at the moment? I’m reading Before They Were Us which will be followed by Educated. My to read list is always growing!

Today I’m visiting and guest posting over at my friend Mary’s place! Please join us there!

Using My Voice

Day 14 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “voice.”

I memorize the lines so I know my part for the play. I’ve used my voice to be Anne Frank’s mother, the maid Meip (the one who hid them) and also other characters in my high school’s one act plays. There was one year when we traveled to state competition that I woke up that morning with no voice. My cast mates made me not talk that day so I would have enough voice for the competition.

I used my voice in high school for speech. I would recite poetry. I have used my voice to recite poetry in my adult years too. The sound of words I’ve penned echo in my ear. A beautiful gift.

I use my voice to preach the word of God. I always start with these words “May the meditations of my heart and the words upon my lips be given to your glory and your glory alone.” It is always my prayer that the gathered community hears my every word and takes them to heart.

I use my voice also to speak out; to speak out against those things that need to be spoken against. God calls us to use our voices to be a voice for the voiceless.

Reach

Day 13 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “reach”

Do you reach out to open the door for someone else?

Do you reach out and hand a gift card to a homeless person?

Do you reach out to help the stranger?

God calls us to be God’s hands and feet in the world. God calls us to serve our neighbor. I am reminded of one of my favorite verses in Scripture: Micah 6:8 “But what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.”

I want to do better at reaching out and listening to my neighbor. I want to do better at hearing those words Jesus said to his disciples in that upper room “that they all shall be one.” God calls us to be united as the body of Christ.

My 5th Birthday Party

Day 12 of Write 31 Days! Today’s word prompt is “first.” I knew immediately where I was going with this word prompt. I hope you enjoy this post!

My parents let me invite friends over for my first friend birthday party when I turned five years old. The invitations were sent and finally the day arrived.

The day of my party, I got dressed in my prettiest and most favorite dress. My friends arrived exactly at the time the party was to start. We played games. We ate cake and ice cream. We opened presents.

My mom and dad made me open my present from them and my little sister last. The first box I opened held a clue. Each clue led to another clue which finally led me to the shed in our backyard. I opened the door to the shed to find my very first bicycle. It was white and pink.

My friends and I drove my bike out to the street. My friends encouraged me to get on the bike. I sat on the seat with my feet on the pedals. My friends each grabbed onto the sides and back of the bike. They pushed me and then let go. The first time I got scared and the bike started to lose its balance. My friends kept me from falling.

My friends wouldn’t give up, so we tried again. They held on for quite awhile until I told them to let go. They still held on and asked for reassurance from me. In my certainty, they finally let go. My hands gripped firmly on the handlebars and my feet pedaling away. Before we knew it, I was riding a bike! I never even had to have training wheels.

What a gift to have friends who believed in and encouraged me until I learned to ride that bike!

Deep in the Earth

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. This is also day 11 of Write 31 days. This week’s FMF word prompt is “deep.” We would love to have you join us.

“Sometimes we have to bury dreams, leave them deep in the Earth behind us.”—-Red Sea Road; Ellie Holcomb

Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes life throws us a curveball. Old dreams have to be laid to rest while new dreams emerge.

A few years ago, I buried a symbol deep in the Earth on Estes Cone in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This symbol was a symbol of letting go of the past and looking with hope toward the future. As my friend Scott reminded me after coming down the mountain, sometimes one must go higher up to see what lies below.

The earth is such a holy place too. I think of my family as they plant seeds deep in the ground and then later harvest those fields. A very early snowstorm has prevented them from harvesting soybeans. (Please pray for all of these farmers as they may have to leave the fields and not harvest them….which could mean burying of dreams for some)

Do Not Be Afraid, Little Flock!

Day 10 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “scared.”

What are you scared of? Snakes? Mice? Heights? Flying? Or is it more concrete like losing someone you love to an illness? I know that’s what scares me the most. Losing those I love way too soon.

Did you know that the words “Do not be afraid” appear 365 times in Scripture? One for every day of the year. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Mary was told by the angel “Do not be afraid?” Who else do you remember in the Bible being told those words?

These words give me hope and comfort. I trust God is with me always and promises to never leave or forsake me. When I’m scared, I can cry out to the one who tells us not to be afraid. Thanks be to God!

As the words to a beloved hymn say, “Do not be afraid, little flock.”

The Risk and Joy of Community

Day 9 of Write 31 Days! Today’s word prompt is “join.”

I joined a writing club at my local library when I lived in Moorhead Minnesota! It started out as a great experience. But once I was vulnerable and shared my story, I offended someone else in the writing group. That was not my intention at all. Yet it was a risk I took when I joined that writing group.

The latest news with Ellen and George W Bush has me thinking about this too. Are we willing to be friends with those we disagree with? Are we willing to be kind despite our differences? The thing is God made us all unique and we are all going to have different passions. We are not all going to join in at the same time and jump on the same band wagon.

The most important thing is that God calls us to join and be in community together. We are made to be in relationship with one another. We need to love God, love each other and love ourselves more. (Did you see Annie F Downs big news?—The Love Big Tour?) This is a risk more of us need to take!

Gathering at the Table

Day 8 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “gather.”

A hot cup of tea in one hand, sitting and gathering with a friend, catching up on life. Gathering with friends and family is one of my most favorite things. Time is not important during these meetings. It’s simply spending quality time with those I love.

I have gathered with a few friends I have met online. Gathering in the flesh with them was such a gift. I loved having lunch in Nashville with Janel, Valerie and my sister. I loved meeting Jen in Nashville too. I also got to meet Stephanie in Chicago. Who will I meet next?

Jesus was really good at gathering people. He sat and ate with tax collectors and sinners. He sat with his disciples the night before his crucifixion and death and washed their feet and broke bread with them.

Breaking bread and wine together is a holy experience. The table is a gift for all of us. It is at the table that we are reminded of how we are all broken and sinful people but here at the table we are forgiven of our sins.

Let’s gather at my table friends. I’d love to have you here!

Luna and Neville

Day 7 of Write 31 Days. Today’s word prompt is “same.”

My kitties are not the same. Luna is short haired. Neville is long haired. Luna is a girl. Neville is a boy. Neville is gray. Luna is black. Luna is older than Neville.

They do have some things in common though. They both love to wrestle and play. This morning, I caught Nevy trying and successfully capturing a butterscotch disc out of the candy dish on my coffee table. They both love to cuddle. They also like most cats love to nap! This morning, I found Luna in a funny place. She was inside the shelf on my headboard.

I’ve had many cats growing up. And I love that they are all different. Neville will eat just about any human food. In fact, at lunch, he stole part of my pizza and ran off with it. Luna isn’t much of a beggar but she does love olives.

My sister has cats too. She has Oreo and Tigger. One of hers is male and the other is female. One is orange while the other is black and white.

We were all made to be different except Jesus. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”